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Public Lecture

"Magnetism of Low Mass Stars"

By Dr Yanina Metodieva, of Armagh Observatory
May 14th 2018

About the Lecture

Billions of Earth-like planets are now thought to go around stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy. And there are at least 1 trillion galaxies in the universe, giving the prospect for unbelievably large numbers of places for life to evolve. But Dr Yanina Metodieva from Bulgaria says most of these planet-harbouring stars are like the Sun or smaller. 

Her research is showing that smaller stars can have huge explosions "flares" thousands of times bigger than our Sun. When you remember that explosions on the Sun have knocked our man made power grids, killed satellites, and could do a lot worse, this does not bode well for smaller stars that have these much larger explosions.  Life could be sterilised off any such planet, over and over again, meaning no intelligent life would ever evolve, and perhaps this is why we don't see the universe teeming with aliens?

In her Public Lecture to Astronomy Ireland on Monday May14th she will explain how she has used the world's biggest telescope (the GTC on the Canary Islands) and the world's biggest radio telescope (LOFAR which spreads across Europe from Ireland to Poland!) to study these stars and the huge explosions they can produce. How can a star a few times smaller than the Sun produce an explosion thousands of times bigger than anything the Sun can throw at us? Dr Metodieva is a world authority on such matters and she will explain it all in a public lecture suitable for children or anyone with no knowledge of astronomy or science.

The talk is also available on DVD. Tickets or DVDs can now be ordered below.

About the Lecturer


My name is Yanina Metodieva, I am from Bulgaria. I did my undergrad in University of Sofia, Bulgaria, in Astrophysics, Meteorology and Geophysics. During my third year, I started working on a project with one of my lecturers, Tony Antonova, investigating the magnetic activity in low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. After completing my BSc, I started a master's program with her, continuing the work on stellar magnetic activity. As part of my Masters degree work I was exploring the activity rates in low-mass stars in the optical wavelengths, using spectral data obtained with the OSIRIS instrument on the Gran Telescopio Canarias. During that time I also took part in building a Student Astronomical Observatory near Sofia in Bulgaria, equipped with a 35cm Newton telescope, a CCD camera and a spectrograph.
Shortly after finishing my Master's degree, I started my PhD fellowship with the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium and Queen's University Belfast. The project I worked on was investigating the different mechanisms producing radio emission in low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, using data from the Karl Jansky Very Large Array and the Australian Telescope Compact Array. I also participated in building the LOFAR station in Birr castle in the summer of 2017.  As a second part of my PhD project I drew a sample of a wide range low-mass stars, covering spectral types G to Y. I have used it to study the magnetic activity of different stellar systems in the ultraviolet, working with data from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) mission.


After the lecture there will be a social reception in The Lombard and we encourage all of you to come along for a chat.
All are welcome to attend and free food will be kindly provided by The Lombard.

Keep up to date on our Facebook and Twitter sites - links on the left.

A prize draw will be held after the lecture.

Booking Information

Date Monday 14th May
Subject to change - please check back later
Time 8:00p.m.

Physics Bldg, Physics Department , Fitzgerald Building, Trinity College Dublin.
There is an entrance on Lincoln Place (not far from the Merrion Square end of TCD). If you get the DART or bus to Pearse St, or drive. Use the Science Gallery entrance on Pearse Street (near the corner with Westland Row) There are maps here:  Here

Parking: Mark Street , Marks Lane , Lombard St. East .

Free Parking on the above streets after 7pm
Click HERE for a building map of Trinity College campus
Click HERE for Map of area

Admission €10 (€5 Astronomy Ireland members and concessions)
Tickets where possible should be booked in advance. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the night, please come along 15 minutes early to accommodate.

Book online below

Call 086 06 46 555 to book tickets over the phone using Debit/ Credit Card
Send a cheque/ PO/ Draft, made payable to Astronomy Ireland to PO BOX 2888, Dublin 5.


This lecture is also available to people nationwide on DVD.
To order a copy of the DVD simply:
Order by credit/ debit card online below OR
call 086 06 46 555
Alternatively post a Cheque or postal order to: Astronomy Ireland, PO. Box 2888, Dublin 5.
Cost: DVD's cost €10 each incl P&P (€5 Astronomy Ireland members)

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Acknowledgment: Astronomy Ireland would like to thank the TCD Astrophysics Research Group for hosting AI public lectures in Trinity College Dublin.

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